8/10 Surveying the "AFPAK/PAKAF" Soft-Hard Power Dance of Death: "Flood disaster creates opportunity for U.S...

"To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson—that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors."
Ronald Reagan 1983

"In Afghanistan, the freedom fighters are the key to peace. We support the Mujahidin. There can be no settlement unless all Soviet troops are removed and the Afghan people are allowed genuine self-determination.".
Ronald Reagan1988

We cannot win a fight for hearts and minds when we outsource critical missions to unaccountable contractors
Candidate Obama 2007

President Obama pledges a new "international order"
May 22, 2010 West Point Military Academy
"...America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation...We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice -- so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don't."...the United States will pursue a strategy of "national renewal and global leadership."...The president expressed confidence in the military's ability to succeed in Afghanistan, but warned of a "tough fight" ahead as the United States helps the Afghan people to rebuild its civil institutions and its security system so they can battle the Taliban and other extremists on their own. "We have brought hope to the Afghan people; now we must see that their country does not fall prey to our common enemies," he said. "There will be difficult days ahead. But we will adapt, we will persist, and I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan."

President Obama pledged to shape a new "international order" as part of a national security strategy that emphasizes his belief in global institutions and America's role in promoting democratic values around the world. "The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times,'" he said in prepared remarks. "Countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing its wounds.

digest: US SOFT-HARD POWER DANCE OF DEATH IN THE SERVICE OF US 'NEW WORLD ORDER' DOMINATION AGENDA
The brief survey below reveals how US thinktank strategy, failing and flailing state-sponsored terror 'on the ground', drenched in the blood it has shed, becomes psywar 'news', in an ensuing, all too familiar pattern: when bombing into compliance fails, massive 'natural' disasters have a history of convenience: eliminating the negative, millions of impoverished masses, their uncooperative lives and lands blocking US development -- allowing defeated, desperate liberators to accent the positive using billions of soft power 'humanitarian aid' in a last ditch effort to win over more receptive wannabe - westerners in the upper classes. Which will also fail.

US WARLORD WERE BEATEN BY NATIONAL RESISTANCE FORCES YEARS AGO...
12-14-08 Why the US Will Scale Down Its Goals in Afghanistan
By Mark Thompson / Washington Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1866326,00.html?iid=sphere...
"Significantly expanding [Afghanistan's national security forces] is, in fact, our exit strategy," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told U.S. troops in Kandahar last week...
The U.S. scattered the Taliban in the invasion launched a month after the 9/11 attacks but then turned its attention and resources toward Iraq...the Taliban, which controlled 54% of Afghanistan in 2007, now controls about 72% of the country, according to a new study from the Paris-based International Council on Security and Development...the Taliban has rooted itself across increasing swaths of Afghan territory...The increase in their geographic spread illustrates that the Taliban's political, military and economic strategies are now more successful than the West's in Afghanistan" " the independent report says....
U.S. military officers, speaking privately, concede that the bleak outlook in Afghanistan will probably prompt a scaling back of U.S. goals for the country. The desire to build a strong central government with a large army is likely to be de-emphasized in favor of a provincial structure that relies more on local militias to provide security.
Stephen Biddle, a military expert at the Council on Foreign Relations said "Going to a decentralized Afghan end state — with local authorities providing their own security — means the national government's security apparatus can be much smaller". The bad news, of course, is that many such provincial officials are little more than warlords,..
If the U.S. and its allies need to bring home their troops while leaving behind a modicum of security, they may find themselves forced to settle for something less than a happy ending.

12-08-09 From Clinton, plain talk on Afghanistan
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/07/AR2009120703844...
Candor is, sadly, in short supply in Washington, particularly when government officials discuss shortcomings related to Afghanistan before congressional committees. But Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during last week's marathon set of hearings on President Obama's new strategy in that war, gave two examples of forthrightness that are worth further examination: a discussion of trouble with expanding the workforce of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Afghanistan, and a tough look at how U.S. aid money is being slipped into the hands of the Taliban. In hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clinton said there was a 10-month investigation of what USAID was doing on the ground in Afghanistan, and that "we didn't particularly come away impressed."Plans call for tripling the USAID workforce and changing its mission. "But," she added, "the numbers are going to have to grow if we expect to deliver on what is required...most of our civilian aid going into Afghanistan had been contracted out without adequate oversight or accountability."

1-23-10 CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract
Washington Post Spy Talk Blog
The CIA has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source. The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

1-28-10 Hillary Clinton Backs $500 Million to Lure Taliban
abcnews.go.com/Politics/Afghanistan/hillary-clinton-backs-500-million-lure-taliban/story?id=9689681
NATO to Lure Taliban Fighters Away From Battlefield...program to be funded by "Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund," dubbed the "Taliban Trust Fund"

3-26-10 "After the Dutch government fell on the issue of Dutch troops in Afghanistan... Why Counting on Apathy May Not Be Enough"
CIA report into shoring up Afghan war support in Western Europe
WikiLeaks 3-26-10 (wl-office@sunshinepress.org) http://file.wikileaks.org/file/cia-afghanistan.pdf cited in http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/03/27/wikileaks
This classified CIA analysis from March, outlines possible PR-strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan. After the Dutch government fell on the issue of Dutch troops in Afghanistan last month, the CIA became worried that similar events could happen in the countries that post the third and fourth largest troop contingents to the ISAF-mission. The proposed PR strategies focus on pressure points that have been identified within these countries. For France it is the sympathy of the public for Afghan refugees and women. For Germany it is the fear of the consequences of defeat (drugs, more refugees, terrorism) as well as for Germany’s standing in the NATO. The memo is an recipe for the targeted manipulation of public opinion in two NATO ally countries, written by the CIA. It is classified as Confidential / No Foreign Nationals.

4-16-10 What do Afghans make of Karzai these days?
http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/04/16/what_do_afghans_make_of_...
Though U.S. President Barack Obama expressed continued confidence in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's ability to be a "strong partner" in helping allied forces "dismantle Al Qaeda and its affiliate networks," tensions between Karzai and the U.S. government remain high.The Afghan president has made a series of combative remarks about the U.S. role in Afghanistan... In a televised speech that aired on April 1st, Karzai admitted Afghanistan is occupied by international forces and he has simply become the international countries' puppet for their own political agendas in Afghanistan. Rumors are that the government appointed Independent Elections Commission's Chairman... was pressured by a U.S. representative to announce Abdullah Abdullah as the winner of the run-off elections...Afghans here do say Karzai acknowledges the mishaps that have occurred within the Afghan government and accepts responsibility; however, the blame for corruption does not wholly only rest on the Afghan government. The international community's role in this is a large one, says Karzai, a statement so many Afghans agree with... April 5 some members of Parliament said President Karzai that weekend even went on to threaten that if the United States doesn't differentiate between helping and occupying Afghanistan, the Taliban resistance will become national...many people simply hope the brawl will be quelled and the efforts for peace process will continue....

5-4-10 Rebirth of USAID?
Patrick M. Cronin http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/05/03/white_house_proposed_...
The new White House plan to “elevate development as a pillar of national security strategy, equal to diplomacy and defense” may spark the biggest political fight over development since Jesse Helms made the head of development report to the Secretary of State. The impending brawl may not be immediately obvious. After all, the Obama administration’s goal of boosting development resembles the ‘3-D’ triad of defense, diplomacy, and development crafted by the George W. Bush administration. But whereas the Bush administration sought to tightly circumscribe the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Obama administration seeks to restore USAID to its glory days of the 1960s....
The White House directive’s push for fostering “the next generation of emerging markets by enhancing our focus on broad-based growth and democratic governance” has an appealing sound to it, and surely it is consistent with supporting a liberal international order consistent with U.S. values. But the same directive later focuses on the need to “hold long-time recipients of U.S. assistance accountable for achieving development results.” The emphasis on economic growth is excellent and the over-arching logic is internally consistent. But 2010 is not 1960, and the Western development model is increasingly under assault by “the Beijing consensus.” That consensus refers to the current situation in which an authoritarian and mercantilist China free rides on our international order and cherry picks resource-rich countries, which in exchange for supplying resources to feed the voracious Chinese market appetite, China provides major infrastructure projects without other conditionality.
Patrick Cronin, a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS),previously Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at National Defense University, has had a 25-year career inside government and academic research centers, spanning defense affairs, foreign policy, and development assistance.

6-22-10 U.S. funding massive protection racket in Afghanistan
Karen DeYoung Washington Post
"Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan", US House of Representatives National Security subcommittee 79-page report,
June 22, 2010 To the Members of the Subcommittee:
Today I present to you a report entitled, Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along
the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan, which has been prepared by the Majority staff of the
Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform. After a six-month investigation, the report exposes the circumstances
surrounding the Department of Defense’s outsourcing of security on the supply chain in
Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords. ....
With some important exceptions, the Subcommittee eventually received substantial cooperation
with its investigation from the Department of Defense and most of the HNT contractors.
Notably, after almost six months of requests, the Department only provided a critically relevant
document relating to its own investigation into the allegations at issue on June 14, 2010 – eight
days before the scheduled hearing on the Subcommittee’s investigation. That document has been
withheld from inclusion in this report at the Department of Defense’s request.
The report comes as the number of U.S. casualties is rising in the Afghan war, and public and congressional support is declining. The administration has been on the defensive in recent weeks, insisting that the slow progress of anti-Taliban offensives in Helmand province and the city of Kandahar does not mean that more time is needed to assess whether President Obama's strategy is working. "I think it's much too early to draw a negative conclusion," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. "I think there's more positive than negative

7-15-10 Angst about USAID’s fate grows...
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/07/15/angst_about_usaid_s_f...
...internal disagreements continue to plague the ongoing efforts to reconcile America's development and foreign-policy goals.The administration's two major development reviews, the White House's Presidential Study Directive on Global Development (PSD-7) and the State Department's Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) are both missing in action as the administration crosses the 18-month mark. The interim report of the QDDR was never released and there's concern the final document might not be ready by the stated September deadline. The PSD, a draft version of which was first published on The Cable, is being held up by a continuing and mounting disagreement between the White House and the State Department over how to divide power over development between Foggy Bottom and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)... the dispute between the National Security Council and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to a head at a principals' meeting in late June...when, Clinton, sources report, refused to sign off on the PSD because she disagreed with that document's determination that USAID should be the lead agency in charge of development missions in the field...
former USAID administrator Brian Atwood wrote today to protest the cuts in the foreign aid budget that Congress is calling for.
"We are grateful for the emphasis the President has placed on development and foreign assistance -- a tradition he continues from President Bush. And we strongly support Secretary Clinton's call to make USAID ‘the premier development agency in the world,' they wrote. "But this goal will only be achieved when USAID's personnel capacity is rebuilt and its funding enhanced." World Food Prize Laureate Rev. David Beckmann, who co-chairs the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), told The Cable, "The Obama administration is doing smart and creative things to help hungry and poor people around the world. But they are hung up by organizational confusion, and the president needs to make it clear that USAID, not the State Department, has lead responsibility for development."

7-19-10 Clinton Builds Pakistan Ties Key to Afghanistan Fight
Bloomberg Business Week
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani officials agreed on plans today for spending $1.5 billion a year in U.S. aid meant to build Pakistani support for the Obama administration’s Afghan war strategy. While most Pakistanis see the U.S. as anti-Islamic and an enemy, they will be won over “when they see through this strategic dialogue how their lives are changed,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said following talks with Clinton. U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke reporters that dialogue and U.S. aid “is causing a change first within the Pakistani government and gradually more slowly in Pakistani public opinion.”..President Obama has tripled aid for civilian projects...in fighting extremists and fostering democracy. Pakistan’s cooperation is seen as vital to U.S. efforts to weaken the Taliban, as well as President Karzai’s plans to reconcile Taliban fighters with his government. By the end of fiscal year 2010, Pakistan will have received about $6 billion in U.S. humanitarian development aid ...

7-19-10 Clinton arrives in Kabul for Afghanistan summit, meets with Karzai
By Karen DeYoung http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/19/AR201007...
KABUL -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here Monday night to participate in a conference at which Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to present concrete plans for improving governance, combating corruption, and beginning a peace process with both low-level Taliban fighters and their leaders.The largest international gathering in Kabul in decades, including delegations from more than 70 countries, is to convene Tuesday morning amid high security concerns. Clinton was met at the airport by U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, then whisked to the U.S. Embassy compound a few miles away by helicopter, rather than risk a road convoy...
Clinton told reporters she "could feel a change" in Pakistani public opinion toward the United States during her two-day visit, but that she did not want to overstate her perception that anti-American feeling had decreased...unlike her last visit, in October, when Clinton was bombarded with hostile questions from a belligerent Pakistani public, no one asked about U.S. drone attacks, the CIA or U.S. military designs on Pakistani territory....Clinton told a news conference after a morning-long meeting with senior Pakistani officials to discuss $500 million worth of new U.S. economic and development assistance this year, they had moved "beyond security" into a long-term partnership in which the United States was building trust by responding to Pakistan's domestic needs.While security cooperation would continue, she said, "the United States had to ask ourselves: How can we be a better partner?"...
One issue is reconciliation with insurgent groups.The administration has cautioned both sides against peace talks with groups that refuse to meet preconditions that include laying down their arms and breaking ties with al-Qaeda. Clinton said..."We would strongly advise our friends in Afghanistan to deal with those who are committed to a peaceful future. During a live TV interview, one journalist questioned U.S. pressure for more aggressive Pakistani military action against insurgent groups in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. In particular, the journalist asked, why had the administration rejected reconciliation talks with the Haqqani network of fighters? "Not every extremist group can be reconciled," she said...Asked at the town hall meeting why the U.S. Embassy did not do a better job countering negative views of the administration in Pakistan, Clinton said, "I'm aware of the fact that in some parts of Pakistan, U.S. aid is not appreciated. That bothers me a lot." But in the new spirit of honesty between the two countries, she said, Pakistan should realize U.S. economic problems and unemployment have led many Americans to ask "why we're sending money to a country that doesn't want it."

7-21-10 Keeping Karzai's feet to the fire
http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/07/21/keeping_karzais_feet_to_...
On Tuesday, the Afghan government convened an international conference, bringing together more than 70 countries to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan. As in previous conferences, the Karzai government outlined an ambitious agenda to enhance aid coordination, reduce corruption, strengthen the justice system, support job creation and economic growth and more. Unfortunately, most of these commitments are unlikely to reverse the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. Even if they are implemented -- far from guaranteed given unfulfilled promises in the past -- most of the technical proposals made by the parties don't address the key source of Afghanistan's insecurity: its political crisis, which drives insurgent mobilization, contributes to declining support for the Afghan government, and lies at the root of Kabul's failure to successfully implement past commitments. Increased aid coordination and more assistance for Afghan priorities will not change the deeply flawed political system, which relies on international aid and military support to survive on a narrowing base of Afghan public support...
Many Afghans have joined the insurgency due to their anger with the Afghan government... which was viewed as politically exclusive and a foreign puppet. The Taliban insurgency has outmaneuvered the Afghan government politically by promising swift justice and dispute resolution, providing shadow governance, and using sophisticated propaganda, violence and intimidation against those who cooperate with the Afghan government...
The Karzai government has failed to present a compelling alternative to the Taliban insurgency's brutal movement, and only political reforms that begin to address the unrepresentative nature of the Karzai government offer the chance of peace in Afghanistan. Political reforms will be essential for any reconciliation process to occur between the Karzai government and three important constituencies -- its people, the insurgency, and the international community.
International donors have seized on "Afghan leadership" as the means by which to extricate themselves from an increasingly costly commitment, but without changes to the way power is currently shared (or not) within Afghanistan by that leadership, there is little hope that the Afghan government will become more competent, accountable to public concerns, or reconciled with disaffected segments of society or members of the insurgency in Afghanistan. As the principle guarantors of the Karzai government's operations and its continued survival, the international community is the only constituency capable at this point of demanding meaningful political reforms. ....

7-26-10 Afghan, Pakistan Leaders Warned by U.S. in Advance of Leaked War Documents
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-26/afghan-pakistan-leaders-warned-...
Afghan, Pakistani and Indian officials received advance notice from the U.S. that media in the U.S. and Europe were about to publish leaked American military documents about the war in Afghanistan, State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley said.Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari were briefed by the U.S. ambassadors in their countries, and senior Pakistani officials met two nights ago with Admiral Michael Mullen, the top U.S. military commander, Crowley told reporters today in Washington. “We wanted to make sure they understood the context under which these documents would be released, that this was the result of a leak of classified documents, not sanctioned, authorized by the United States government,” Crowley said. “The briefing was, in fact, to help them understand that this represents a crime and that we are investigating it.”
The leak won’t affect U.S. relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan or their relations with each other, Crowley said. He noted that Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met with Afghan and Pakistani leaders last week. The reports, on the website Wikileaks.org, allege in part that Pakistan’s main intelligence agency is secretly aiding the Taliban and allied Islamic militant rebels whom the U.S. is trying to defeat, according to the New York Times, the London- based Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel, which say Wikileaks gave them weeks of access to the documents.The documents reflect the war as it was run from 2005 to 2009, Crowley said, largely during the presidency of George W. Bush.“Most of these documents are several years old and may well reflect situations and conditions and circumstances that have either been corrected already or are in the process of being corrected,” he said. The administration of President Barack Obama, which took office in January 2009, has enacted its own Afghanistan strategy, Crowley said. “We think that we have put in place over the past several months a strong foundation of working with Pakistan, working with Afghanistan, and the situation that we confront today is different than the one we confronted two, three, four years ago,” he said. “We feel that Pakistan at the leadership level is committed to root out” the Taliban and al-Qaeda, “to eliminate these safe havens, and in doing so, eliminate, direct or indirect support for those engaged in violent extremism, which threatens Pakistan itself,” Crowley said.

7-27-10 Don’t blame Pakistan for the failure of the war in Afghanistan
By Imran Khan ptiuk.org/news/dont-blame-pakistan-for-the-failure-of-the-war-imran-khan-n773.html
Pakistan, supposedly an ally of the U.S., is bearing the brunt of American failure in Afghanistan... The war in Afghanistan is justified as a stabilizing force for Pakistan, whereas in truth the country is collapsing under the pressure... like Cambodia in the Vietnam War....We are fighting someone else's war...Millions of our people have been displaced and massive radicalization of our youth as they see the Pakistani state a puppet doing U.S. bidding. The military operations by Pakistan in FATA have led to 40,000 casualties in indiscriminate aerial bombardment and ground fire.The attacks by U.S. drones, in which the Government of Pakistan is complicit, have also killed thousands of civilians, leading to growing hatred among the local population...

7-28-10 Afghanistan war: How USAID loses hearts and minds
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/0728/Afghanistan-...
...Exposing serious weaknesses in the third pillar of America's "clear, hold, build" Afghan strategy.
"Mostly people feel the same corruption that is in the government of Afghanistan is in US companies and projects." ... USAID refused interviews with staff in Badakhshan. Only after two months of requests did the agency grant two interviews: One with Jim Bever, head of Afghanistan-Pakistan policy for USAID, who could only go on the findings of the USAID evaluation and talk broadly about agency reforms; the other with a USAID staffer who'd worked as a PADCO contractor – but wasn't allowed to be quoted...But while the project "was not as effective as it should have been," the USAID report argues, it was "worthwhile" because it brought "better personal mobility, exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking, improved nutrition, sociopolitical gains, objective evidence of [US] concern, enhanced economic potential, etc."

7-31-10 Plea for international help in flood-ravaged Pakistan
Across the northwest, homes and bridges tumbled into the surging river waters. Rains triggered landslides that wiped out whole communities, and lightning killed dozens. Images broadcast on local television stations showed residents desperately swimming for shore through snake-infested waters... hundreds stood on the shore and helplessly watched old men, women and children float by in the raging current. There was no sign of a government rescue effort...A Pakistani military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Azmat Ali, said that troops had been deployed to every major affected area and had rescued thousands of people. Nearly all the soldiers in the Swat Valley, which was retaken from the Taliban after a major offensive last year, had been temporarily assigned to flood relief duty, he said. The valley was among the areas inundated by water, as swollen rivers jumped their banks and tore through adjacent towns and villages... The government's response has come under scrutiny because the impoverished northwest has been the scene of persistent militant attacks and frequent U.S.-backed army offensives in recent years. The Taliban, which is active across the region, has fed on the widespread view that the government is ineffective and unable to meet basic needs. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad announced that it would provide Pakistan with seven helicopters to assist with rescue efforts and that it would offer additional assistance in the coming days. The flooding follows the crash of a Pakistani commercial jet Wednesday in which the weather is thought to have played a role. The crash of the Air Blue flight into the Margalla Hills on the outskirts of Islamabad left 152 people dead in the worst aviation disaster in Pakistan's history.

7-30-10 "SCENIC" SWAT VALLEY ON "AF-PAK" BORDER BEARS THE MOST DEADLY DAMAGE
Map of Pakistan's Border with Afghanistan www.worldpress.org/specials/pp/afghan_pak_border_map.htm
In the past week, tens of thousands of soldiers accustomed to battling militants shifted their focus to search-and-rescue operations. One of the worst-hit areas is the Swat Valley...
map: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/01/AR201008...
Pictures of courage and horror http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/07/30/GA201007...

8-1-10 Targeted Killing Is New U.S. Focus in Afghanistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/world/asia/01afghan.html?_r=2&hp
WASHINGTON — When President Obama announced his new war plan for Afghanistan last year, the centerpiece of the strategy — and a big part of the rationale for sending 30,000 additional troops — was to safeguard the Afghan people, provide them with a competent government and win their allegiance. Eight months later, that counterinsurgency strategy has shown little success, demonstrated by the flagging military and civilian operations in Marja and Kandahar and the spread of Taliban influence in other areas of the country. Instead, what has turned out to work well is an approach American officials have talked much less about: counterterrorism, military-speak for the targeted killings of insurgents from Al Qaeda and the Taliban...several officials said Mr. Obama remained committed to the strategy he set out at the end of last year, they conceded that the counterinsurgency part of it had lagged while the counterterrorism part had been more successful...
Judging that they have gained some leverage over the Taliban, American officials are debating when to try to bring them to the negotiating table to end the fighting. Rattling the Taliban, officials said, may open the door to reconciling with them more quickly...A senior White House official said the administration hoped its targeted killings, along with high-level contacts between Mr. Karzai and Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s army chief and a former head of its intelligence service — which is believed to have close links to the Taliban — would combine to pressure Taliban leaders to come to the negotiating table. A long-awaited campaign to convert lower-level and midlevel Taliban fighters has finally begun in earnest, with Mr. Karzai signing a decree authorizing the reintegration program. With $200 million from Japan and other allies, and an additional $100 million in Pentagon money, American military officers will soon be handing out money to lure people away from the insurgency...the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.... reflecting the administration’s hope that the killings are making a difference... “If I were the Taliban, I’d be worried.”

8-2-10 Pakistan Challenged in Flood Rescue
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/world/asia/02pstan.html?th&emc=th
The army announced Sunday night it had reached up to 20,000 people, but the government’s response to the disaster — which has already claimed hundreds of lives — has been widely assailed as slow and inadequate. Criticism was further fed by a decision by President Asif Zardari, already deeply unpopular, to leave the country this week for political talks in Europe.The growing frustration with the government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... which has been economically decimated by terrorism in recent years.... this weekend is a large blow to Islamabad, which is often criticized for being disconnected from the needs of the people in the province, which represents a pivotal battleground against the Islamic insurgency. For the past year, the government and the military have been engaged in a “hearts and minds” campaign to restore public services after fighting displaced more than three million people last year. But reconstruction efforts have been painfully slow, and the public mood has shifted from frustrated to furious. The demanding relief effort in the coming days and weeks will provide yet another test for the government to nurture the population in the nation’s northwest. Last summer, during the mass displacement, Pakistani authorities refused to allow American officials and planes to deliver aid to the refugee camp. The authorities did not want to be associated with their unpopular ally. In the absence of effective government aid, hard-line Islamist charities pounced, using aid to sour public opinion against the war and the United States...The United States said it would offer $10 million for relief and said it provided 50,000 meals on Sunday...Fazl Maula Zahid, a regional manager at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Swat, said 100,000 acres of soil along the Swat River had been washed out. He said it would take up to 10 years to restore the fertility of this critical area that feeds 50,000 people.“These lands will be changed into desert. And you know what kind of plant can be planted in a desert? Nothing! Our infrastructure over the last 50 years has been washed away.”...

8-2-10 Floods stir anger at Pakistan government response
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/floods-stir-anger-at-pakist...
Islamist charities, some with suspected ties to militants, stepped in to provide aid for Pakistanis hit by the worst flooding in memory, piling pressure on a government criticised for its response to the disaster that has so far killed more than 1,000 people.The floods that ravaged the northwest and displaced more than a million people are testing an administration heavily dependent on foreign aid and that has a poor record in crisis management - whether fighting Taliban insurgents or easing chronic power cuts....
Some analysts expressed doubts that Islamist groups and their militant wings could capitalise on the disaster because army offensives have weakened them.But some analysts said the Islamists' relief camps in the flood-hit areas had set a dangerous precedent."It is very likely that they will exploit the governance vacuum, in the wake of this tragedy, to fuel their own recruitment,"...A similar dynamic happened after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake when extremist groups gained immense popularity from their relief efforts...
More than 30,000 Pakistani army troops have rescued some 19,000 people from marooned areas so far. Some army bases used to strike at militants in Nowshera, some 100 kms (62 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad, have been flooded.The government's failure to help victims reinforced the long-held view that Pakistan's civilian authorities are ineffective, leaving the military to act....

8-2-10 Flood disaster creates opportunity for U.S.-Pakistan relations
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/02/flood_disaster_create...
The devastating flood in Pakistan has create an opportunity for the U.S. government to show its commitment to the country and improve America's tattered image there, but that will be a tough slog, experts say...in a country that still harbors strong aversions to U.S. influence and remains deeply skeptical of American intentions, progress is likely to be slow."These kinds of crises are opportunities for the U.S. to get it right more than before and make a dent in Pakistani attitudes toward the U.S, but there's an underlying structural issue that isn't going to be overcome rapidly, if at all," said Daniel Markey, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.The last major improvement in attitudes toward the U.S. in Pakistan was during and immediately after U.S. efforts to respond to the 2005 earthquake near Kashmir, Markey said..
But extremist groups will surely try to use the flood to improve their currently low standing among the public by providing their own assistance efforts, as they did during the earthquake."In each of these instances, you can lose ground as well," Markey said.
The large infrastructure, water and energy projects that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled during her visit to Pakistan last month are aimed specifically at getting maximum bang for the buck in terms of changing Pakistani attitudes toward the U.S. -- targeting the middle- and upper-class workers and industrialists who stand to benefit most from economic growth."Our goal is, and the secretary's goal of her trip, was to convince Pakistan that U.S. commitment to the region is not short-run, is not limited to our current military engagement," said Vali Nasr, a top advisor to Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.So is it working? Well, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey, Pakistani attitudes toward the U.S. are still overwhelmingly negative....
A significant portion of the Pakistani news media is avowedly anti-American, complicating U.S. and Pakistani government efforts to get the word out. "... it is not just whether we're doing the right things, but whether we have voices capable of explaining that to the Pakistani public, which is in a very heated, difficult, and messy media environment," said Markey.
Back at home, the Obama administration's outreach to Pakistan is getting favorable review in... the Republican caucus in the Senate. Things generally are the best they have been with Pakistan in a long time... one area where President Obama doesn't get enough credit," GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CNN's State of the Union. "His team, in my view, have brought out the Pakistanis into the fight better than anybody in recent memory. They are cooperating with us more. They are allowing us to use these drone attacks ... The aid packages we have given the Pakistani army have been well used. General Kayani has been a good partner in taking the fight to the frontier regions."

8-4-10 Clinton and USAID's Shah promise long- term U.S. commitment to Pakistani disaster relief
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/04/clinton_and_shah_prom...
As the flood crisis in Pakistan's Swat Valley worsens, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are promising an extended mission to deal with the longer-term effects... the United States will help with rebuilding infrastructure and housing, which could take years...USAID staff being mobilized to help... some planning and assessments were being done by the U.S. military...

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Clinton-US-Flood-Aid-to-Pakist...
... Clinton In a televised speech August 4 from the State Department said the $10 million pledged in U.S. flood aid to Pakistan was "just the start"... US assistance will be Intensive, Long Term. The secretary urged private U.S. citizens to join the effort. She gave information on how cell phone users can make $10 contributions for Pakistan through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. A similar text message campaign raised tens of millions of dollars for Haiti after that country's earthquake in January...a USAID administrator... dismissed a suggestion the aid infusion is an image building exercise, said it reflects the emerging U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership.

8-3-10 Pakistan president says NATO forces losing war against Taliban ‎
John Irish and Daniel Flynn, Reuters
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday NATO was losing the war against the Afghan Taliban and rebuked Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron for questioning Islamabad’s resolve. Shortly before leaving France for Britain for a visit that could define Pakistan’s troubled relations with the West, Mr. Zardari set the stage for a difficult meeting with Mr. Cameron, he hoped would clear the air. During a visit to India last week, Mr. Cameron said Pakistan must do more to prevent "the export of terror," comments that infuriated Islamabad, which summoned Britain’s envoy on Monday....

8-3-10 Gen. David Petraeus issued his first directive to troops yesterday
emphasizing the importance of avoiding civilian casualties, and telling his forces to protect the Afghan population and "live among the people" (ISAF, VOA, Guardian). The document also encourages ISAF forces to combat corruption and poor governance and does not alter former ISAF commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's controversially stringent rules of engagement. The AfPak Channel Daily Brief is a special project of the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy

8-4-10 Petraeus clarifies rules on Afghan air strikes
[Reuters] taga-ilog-news.blogspot.com/
The new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan issued a directive on Wednesday that could facilitate use of air strikes but also called on troops to do everything possible to avoid putting civilians at risk. General David Petraeus, who took command of the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan in July, did not rewrite the rules guiding the use of force in his new "tactical directive." But U.S. officials said he clarified them in a way that may address concerns that some troops -- erring on the side of caution -- had avoided calling in air power against Taliban insurgents, even when it was appropriate to do so. Critics in Congress said restrictions, perceived or not, had put U.S. forces at unnecessary risk in an effort to protect civilians from harm...Petraeus made clear an overly strict interpretation of his rules was not allowed

8-5-10 USAID getting staffed up - finally
thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/05/usaid_getting_staffed_up_finally
President Obama announced his intention to nominate Nancy Lindborg to be assistant administrator for USAID's Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs Bureau. Lindborg is currently the president of Mercy Corps, a global relief and development NGO. She also serves as co-president of the board of directors for the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. From 2000 to 2004, she was chair of the management committee of the Sphere Project, an international initiative to improve the effectiveness and accountability of NGOs, the White House said in its release...."If people really want USAID to assert itself on aid, they need people like this," one development community leader said. "In Haiti, everything was run or shadow-run by State. Getting someone like Lindborg who's willing to basically take a demotion to do this job is a good sign."...UPDATE: Thursday the White House announced President Obama's intent to nominate Donald K. Steinberg as deputy administrator of USAID:Donald K. Steinberg is currently Deputy President for Policy at the International Crisis Group. During three decades of U.S. diplomatic service, Mr. Steinberg served as Ambassador to Angola, Director of the State Department and USAID's Joint Policy Council, Special Representative of the President for Humanitarian Demining, Special Haiti Coordinator, Deputy White House Press Secretary, and Special Assistant for African Affairs to President Clinton on the National Security Council.That brings the total number of top USAID leadership appointments announced to 5 out of the 12 jobs at the organization that require confirmation by the Senate. Of those 5, only one USAID leader has been confirmed... administrator Rajiv Shah.

8-6-10 U.S. envoy to Pakistan: We’re beating the extremists on flood relief
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/06/us_envoy_to_pakistan_...
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson updated reporters on U.S. relief efforts in Pakistan, currently besieged by heavy flooding.Patterson said that this year's floods were the worst in 80 years and given the scale of flooding across the country, could be even more catastrophic than the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. Flooding has now killed more than 1,600 people and affected about 12 million people, mainly in the country's northwestern regions...U.S. efforts have been significant... most operations were hindered by additional bad weather. The U.S. Agency for International Development has pledged $35 million...supplementing existing programs for Pakistanis displaced by fighting in the Swat Valley....The U.S., she said, has a lot of experience working with disaster authorities in Pakistan and she has, thus far, been "very satisfied working with the government."...
Asked about reports that NGOs associated with extremist groups are seeking to capitalize on the floods by providing relief services, Patterson said those efforts are "totally overcome" by the work done by "highly reputable" international and local NGOs... "We're trying to get [these NGOs] money as quickly as possible," she said....
related:
*As Pakistanis flee flood zone, officials decry lack of international aid *Pakistan pushing for quick infusion of U.S. flood aid *Pakistan floods: Billions needed to recover from worst floods in its history

8-6-10 Beyond a military solution for Pakistan
http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/06/beyond_a_military_soluti...
The Afghan government convened an international conference, bringing together more than 70 countries to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan. As in previous conferences, the Karzai government outlined an ambitious agenda to enhance aid coordination, reduce corruption, strengthen the justice system, support job creation and economic growth and more....unfortunately...proposals made by the parties don't address the key source of Afghanistan's insecurity: its political crisis, which drives insurgent mobilization, contributes to declining support for the Afghan government, and lies at the root of Kabul's failure to successfully implement past commitments. Increased aid coordination and more assistance for Afghan priorities will not change the deeply flawed political system...
The Taliban insurgency has outmaneuvered the Afghan government politically by promising swift justice and dispute resolution, providing shadow governance, and using sophisticated propaganda, violence and intimidation against those who cooperate with the Afghan government. The Karzai government has failed to present a compelling alternative to the Taliban insurgency's brutal movement, and only political reforms to address the unrepresentative nature of the Karzai government offer the chance of peace in Afghanistan. Political reforms will be essential for any reconciliation process to occur between the Karzai government and three important constituencies -- its people, the insurgency, and the international community. The international community must demand follow through on three promises in particular made at the Kabul conference: reducing corruption and instituting accountability, implementing electoral reforms, and the implementation of a subnational governance plan that cedes some decision-making powers from Kabul's exclusive control...

8-9-10 Christian NGO identifies killed aid workers, vows to stay in Afghanistan
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2010/0809/Christian-NG...
...But the violent deaths of the group's unarmed medics have highlighted the trend of rising civilian casualties in Afghanistan and heightened concerns among international aid workers that the Afghan Taliban may try to prevent future relief efforts...In May last year, the Afghan Taliban warned the pope Afghan Muslims would retaliate if Christian proselytizing in Afghanistan, supported by the US Army, was not stopped, reported CBS News....' Still, I don't think it's actually going to stop our work. We've been here all those years, and, God willing, we'll continue...[IAM] 'executive director Dirk Frans said... There are also fears that further restrictions on civilian work in Afghanistan will hinder efforts to ensure the millions of dollars in aid is not wasted through corruption and incompetence...
US 'scientific' verdict: FBI will conduct autopsies on 6 American aid workers slain in Afghanistan

8-9-10 Petraeus Begins New Campaign With Words
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/petraeus-begins-a-new-campaign...
General David Petraeus will start a public relations campaign in which he is expected to cite examples of initial progress on the ground in Afghanistan and underscore that the full impact of the military’s counterinsurgency strategy will not take hold until the last of 30,000 additional American troops arrive in Afghanistan this month... as the administration is deliberating how to begin a planned draw down of troops next July, which the General has been suggesting would involve only small numbers.

8-10-10 Fearing unrest, Pakistan seeks more U.S. flood aid
By Karen DeYoung http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/09/AR201008...
Pakistan wants the United States to supply immediately dozens more helicopters and significantly more money and supplies to help deal with the widespread flooding that has affected at least 14 million people there, senior Pakistani officials said Monday.
Pakistan's plea is fueled by concerns that the government's inability to provide relief quickly could boost the appeal of militant groups that have rushed to supply aid in the country's northwest. Visible U.S. assistance, the officials said, could help reverse currents of anti-Americanism.
The United States has already diverted six Chinook transport helicopters from the Afghanistan war to Pakistan over the past 10 days for rescue missions and aid delivery. It has also sent hundreds of thousands of prepackaged military meals and a pledge of more than $40 million in disaster assistance, far more than any other country.
A senior U.S. military official said transfer of additional helicopters, in short supply in Afghanistan, would require a political decision in Washington. "Do they exist in the region? Yes," he said. "Are they available? No."...
The Obama administration has carefully calibrated its assistance to Pakistan over the past year to win popular support without exacerbating Pakistani suspicions of expanded U.S. military and intelligence activities. In 2005, when U.S. helicopters rescued thousands of people after an earthquake in Kashmir that killed 73,000 people, the popularity of the U.S. military in Pakistan briefly surged. But the floods, while taking fewer lives so far, are much more widespread and promise upheaval that will last longer across most of the country.The unprecedented floodwaters that have overtaken villages throughout the northwest part of the country are quickly rising across the southern plains as the Indus, Kabul and Swat rivers overflow their banks.
A White House official said that Pakistan has not delivered a formal request for more helicopters or vastly increased aid, but "we are, of course, trying to respond to every request and to assist as best we can as it becomes evident what it is that they need."
Richard C. Holbrooke, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, saidWith the monsoon rain showing no sign of abating, the government estimates that 1,600 people have been killed, 650,00 homes have been destroyed, and more than 50,000 square miles are under water in a disaster still in its early stages. "Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of other people are inaccessible: clinging to rooftops, swept away, The rains are continuing, and the Sukkur dam, which holds back the Indus River from the agricultural plains of Sindh province, is in danger. If it breaks, the situation will reach an even more catastrophic level." Holbrooke said the administration is calling on other governments to help and is trying to mobilize the business community while pressing for individual contributions via a text-message system the State Department has set up...

never forget never forgive...
8-2-10 Flood disaster creates opportunity for U.S.-Pakistan relations
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/02/flood_disaster_create...